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Classic Episode: The Secret History of International Women's Day


Women striking during the 1910 Uprising of 20,000. Getty Images
Women striking during the 1910 Uprising of 20,000. Getty Images

International Women's Day, celebrated every March 8, is a holiday inspired by factory women going on strike for better wages and working conditions. Cristen and Caroline explore why the (sometimes fake) history of the commemorative day is central to working-class issues within feminism then and now.

Episode sources:

"20,000 Women Strike for Workers' Rights." The City University of New York. https://www1.cuny.edu/portal_ur/content/womens_leadership/20000women.html

"A History of International Women's Day: 'We Want Bread and Roses, Too'." University of Illinois at Chicago. https://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUArchive/interwomen.html

"Chicago Garment Workers' Strike." Harvard University Library. http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/chicagostrike.html

"History of the Day." United Nations. http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/history.shtml

"International Women's Day History." The University of Chicago. https://iwd.uchicago.edu/page/international-womens-day-history

"Labor History: The First Factory Strike." In These Times. http://inthesetimes.com/article/17050/the_mother_of_all_strikes

"Lowell Mill Girls and the Factory System of 1840." The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/age-jackson/resources/lowell-mill-girls-and-factory-system-1840

"Lowell Mill Women Create First Union of Working Women." AFL-CIO. http://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Civil-and-Workplace-Rights/Working-Women/Working-Women-in-Union-History/Lowell-Mill-Women-Create-First-Union-of-Working-Women

"'Shut Down the Mill!': Women, the Modern Strike, and Revolution." The Public. http://publici.ucimc.org/shut-down-the-mills-women-the-modern-strike-and-revolution/

"The Lowell Mill Girls Go on Strike, 1836." History Matters. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5714/

"The Surprisingly Socialist Origins of International Women's Day." Foreign Policy. http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/03/08/the-surprisingly-socialist-origins-of-international-womens-day/

"This Is How March Became Women's History Month." TIME. http://time.com/4238999/womens-history-month-history/

Academic insights:

"Anna Morgan and the Shirtwaist Strike of 1909 - 1910." Joseph J. Portanova. New York University. http://www.nyu.edu/projects/mediamosaic/thepriceoffashion/pdf/portanova-joseph.pdf

"Feminism and the Labor Movement: A Century of Collaboration and Conflict." Eileen Boris. New Labor Forum. The CUNY School of Professional Studies. January 03, 2011. http://newlaborforum.cuny.edu/2011/01/03/feminism-and-the-labor-movement-a-century-of-collaboration-and-conflict/

"On the Socialist Origins of International Women's Day." Temma Kaplan. Feminist Studies. 1985. http://libcom.org/files/International%20Women's%20Day.pdf

Topics in this Podcast: labor, women in the workplace


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